It's not known whether Microsoft's Kevin Johnson asked to leave, or was ordered to go, but this Network World piece on his departure says his talents will be missed at Microsoft. And he might not be the only employee to end up as an ex-employee in the current Redmond reorg.
Johnson may have at one time been on a list of possible future CEOs, says a Directions on Microsoft analyst. Certainly, though, his responsibility for both the Windows/Windows Live group and the Online Services group meant that he could not devote full attention to either. Note that he's being replaced, for the moment, by about five or six folks, and that the two groups will be separated -- a move that can't happen soon enough.
The failure to close the acquisition of Yahoo is obviously being linked to Johnson's departure. Online Services lost almost half a billion dollars last quarter, and perhaps the Windows group's numbers could have been much stronger had the Vista launch been handled more deftly, but his 16-year-plus career at Microsoft means that he is moving on to a position as CEO for Juniper Networks, and will replace the founding CEO, at that.
Kara Swisher at All Things Digital has posted the all-company memo from Steve Ballmer addressing Johnson, the reorganization's status, and Microsoft's priorities for the fiscal year. Number five: Focus on employee excellence.